Category: Events

Don Gerson gives talk on “The Four Corners Region”

Don Gerson gives talk on “The Four Corners Region”

Don Gerson, FE 78, gave an illustrated talk on the Four Corners of the U.S. Southwest 0n Wednesday, March 15 at Decor House, 1801 F. St. NW, Washington.

Gerson has traveled to the Four Corners area where, the borders of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah meet, many times over the last 30 years, the latest being this past summer.

His talk focused not only on the stunning landscapes of the immediate Four Corners area, but also on several locations in other parts of the four states.

He has always found the area, particularly the National Parks and Monuments, to be absolutely fascinating, and photographically irresistible.  This has resulted in thousands of photographs over the years, but he has pared that down to a select few which he will present along with any accompanying stories.

Several of the photos he showed are in some of the galleries linked to from the Galleries page of his Web site.


Don spent much of his career working with photo imagery techniques related to oceanography, mapping, and satellite imagery. He began as an Oceanographer for the Navy Oceanographic Office studying Arctic Sea Ice.

Don spent a cumulative 2 years in the Arctic over a 20-year period. He specialized in time-lapse photography measuring ice drift patterns. Later he worked on submarine sonar support and developed a method of tracking the Gulf Stream using satellite imagery.

He moved on to the Defense Mapping Agency and used satellite imagery to study ground topography for land operations support. In 1983 he transferred to the CIA Office of Research and Development. Here he developed imagery analysis and automated change detection. Eventually he headed the CIA’s research on Computer Vision. Retired for several years now, Don is now devoting his efforts to photography and maintains his photographic website.




ECWG Dinner Meeting April 16, 2016: The Adventure Begins When Things Go Wrong with Speaker Boyd Matson

ECWG Dinner Meeting April 16, 2016: The Adventure Begins When Things Go Wrong with Speaker Boyd Matson

What could go wrong?  When setting up for an expedition we all make plans but then once we set our first foot outside the door, unexpected, unplanned things may start to happen.  Boyd will recount details of things that have gone wrong while on the road.

About our Speaker:  Boyd Matson

Boyd Matson, in his work for National Geographic, has been bitten, scratched, or pooped on, and occasionally kissed by most of the creatures found at your local zoo.  What he refers to as his job, others might describe as a career spent attending summer camp for adults.

During his twenty-one years at Nat Geo he was the host for a variety of programs on both television and radio.  As the host of the weekly radio show, “National Geographic Weekend,” he conducted interviews from the studio and the field, connecting with some of the greatest explorers and adventurers on the planet to transport listeners to the far corners of the world and to the hidden corners of their own backyards.

Matson’s interviews were often based on his own first hand experience traveling to some of the most exotic and isolated places on the planet as a journalist and adventurer on assignment for National Geographic.  On his travels to all seven continents he has participated in high-adrenaline adventures, witnessed amazing natural history, been present for exciting discoveries in archeology and paleontology, and documented disappearing cultural traditions.

Matson also wrote about his experiences in his monthly column, “Boyd Matson Unbound” for National Geographic Traveler magazine, produced videos for National, and served as a spokesperson for the National Geographic Society.

Prior to hosting “National Geographic Weekend,” Matson, hosted the National Geographic Television-produced public T.V. series, “Wild Chronicles.”  He was also the longtime host of the award-winning series, “National Geographic EXPLORER.”   Before coming to National Geographic, Matson spent many years in network television news: co-anchor “World News Now” (ABC); host of “The Real Story” (CNBC); correspondent for “Real Life With Jane Pauley” (NBC); co-anchor and correspondent for “USA Today On TV”; co-anchor “Sunday Today” (NBC); and senior correspondent “Today” (NBC).


Please reserve ______________ places
Guest name(s)
Number of vegetarian meals (if any) desired
Organization Affiliation if other than ECWG
Number of dinners @ $35 each
Enclosed is a check for $_______ Make check payable to ECWG

No cancellations will be accepted after Tuesday, April, 12, 2016

Reservations: Arnella Trent:  email:

Telephone: 410 263 6235

U.S. Mail: 115 Willis St.;  Cambridge, Md. 21613
Forthcoming 2016 ECWG Dinner at the Cosmos Club: May 21.
ECWG website: <>


Video available on human ancestry discovery

Video available on human ancestry discovery

Lee Berger, FI’13, who is an ECWG member, made headline news in September 2015 when he announced the discovery in South Africa of a new early human-like species Homo naledi.

Berger gave ECWG members and their guests a preview of all of this in his Dec. 7, 2013 talk at an ECWG dinner at the Cosmos Club in Washington.

A DVD of this talk is one of the many available from the ECWG list of videos on the ECWG Videos page.  This talk includes a great deal of information on how Berger and his colleagues discovered the fossils. Among other things, he explains why slim, woman scientists were needed for the project’s success.

The treasure trove of fossils from at least 15 skeletons around 2 million years old was the cover story for the October 2015 National Geographic Magazine and the subject of a 60 Minutes show. This exciting discovery and collaboration with many international scientists appeared as a feature story around the world including the front page of the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.

It’s still being widely discussed in scientific journals and magazines.

Dr. Tom Kirsch, MN ’06, discusses ebola crisis

Dr. Tom Kirsch, MN ’06, discusses ebola crisis

Dr. Tom Kirsch MN’06, Director of  Center for Refugee and Disease Response  at Johns Hopkins University, discussed the “Ebola in West Africa and the USA – Myths and Realities” at the Jan. 16, 2016 ECWG dinner at the Cosmos Club.

ECWG Chair Jack Williams, right, presents a certificate of appreciation to Dr. Tom Kirsch. Photo by Darlene Shields
ECWG Chair Jack Williams, right, presents a certificate of appreciation to Dr. Tom Kirsch. Photo by Darlene Shields

Dr. Kirsch worked in Liberia in October 2014 during the height of the epidemic and continues to help the country recover. He discussed the medical realities of the illness, the world response, and some of the concerning ongoing cases related to this significant global event.

 Dr. Kirsch is the Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Refugee and Disaster Response and a Professor at Johns Hopkins University in the Department of Emergency Medicine (School of Medicine), Department of International Health (Bloomberg School of Public Health) and Department of Civil Engineering (Whiting School of Engineering).

He received a BA in Fine Arts from Creighton University, his M.D. from the University of Nebraska in 1984 and M.P.H. from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in 1986 and completed an Emergency Medicine Residency at the George Washington-Georgetown Combined Program.

He is a board-certified   emergency   physician   and   expert   in   disaster management and science, wilderness medicine and health care management.

Dr. Kirsch has authored over 100 scientific articles, abstracts, and textbook chapters, and co- authored the disaster medical textbook, Emergent Field Medicine.

DVDs of past ECWG speaker presentations are available

DVDs of past ECWG speaker presentations are available

The ECWG has been making video recordings of speakers at our Cosmos Club dinners since October 1987. DVDs of these videos are available for sale. They may be ordered from Donald Gerson FE 78 at

A list of the DVDs is available on the ECWG Web site at: